The Bay Bridged: Be the first to see Planet Booty get “Naked”
Carla Bova

Fresh off their Kickstarter success and true to their word, the guys of Oakland’s electro-funk-R&B band Planet Booty have produced a revealing high-energy video for their latest single, “Naked.”

Full of fun and dance, the video overflows with thumping Planet Booty personality. The band delivers joy through beats, laughter through lyrics, and a lot of skin. It is an undressed spectacle that presents the trio’s heartfelt message of self-confidence while setting up a playful striptease.

“The whole idea of the video is to get naked, be naked with us all day. It is sort of an invitation,” frontman Dylan Charles Germick said. “You have Planet Booty, these dancers and models, and we are all in different scenarios with everyone taking off their clothes. The big reveal is if anyone is going to actually do it because it plays on and on with people continually peeling off this jacket and that shirt. Throughout, you wonder where this is going.”

Who among the cast of characters gets naked as the song repeatedly requests? Watch right here and be among the first to find out. But know that for Planet Booty, the goal is to provide a moment of good fun and to encourage self-acceptance, not to be salacious.

“We always try to adhere to positive self-image, positive body image and celebration of who you are. So in our video, even with the sexy stuff that goes on, people are in their own driver’s seat. They are playing with you more than anything,” Germick said. “We are not here getting down and stripping down for sexual enticement, just for its sake. It is more that we are having fun with it and want the world to be smiling along with us…that spirit carries through.”

Today’s release of the “Naked” video marks the beginning of a series of notable events for Planet Booty that will take place throughout 2017. It is the launch of a promotional campaign band members created themselves.

“This is a big year for us because we have all this material that we have been recording in the studio for several months. This video kicks off everything that is going to come out this year,” Germick said. “This video will be an exciting introduction to who we are. It is a positive representation of who we are because it not only looks good, but we made it ourselves. It is a gateway to get people interested.”

Planet Booty has a show on Valentine’s Day at the Starline Social Club in Oakland. The band will release at least two singles a few months apart, perform at South By Southwest in March, embark on a West Coast tour over the summer, and release a vinyl album also in the summer. The group had originally planned to release an EP, but as a result of productive studio time, decided to compile a full album.

“The album is going to be diverse in scope,” Germick said. “More material comes out of this album that I feel will show our depth in a great way.”

The band is Germick (vocals, trumpet, beats), Josh Cantero (vocals, keys, trombone) and Rob Gwin (percussion, bass).

Naked is Planet Booty’s fourth record and seventh music video. The trio self-managed and predominantly self-produced their earlier works, which were creative and entertaining, but done on a minimal budget.

This latest effort had the backing of a Kickstarter campaign which began in August of 2016. The goal was to earn $22,000 to make the “Naked” music video and to record the Naked vinyl EP. When the Kickstarter ended one month later, it surpassed the target, reaching $25,403. The extra money was earmarked to fund a tour.

This video is Planet Booty’s most professional to date. It took a production team of nearly 20 people, the band’s largest crew yet. The Kickstarter money payed for a director of photography, a camera crew, a stylist, dancers. The video was shot at several locations around San Francisco including a Bayshore home, a SOMA warehouse and a yoga studio.

Here’s how the Kickstarter money was spent: $10,000 for studio recording, $8,000 for video production, $2,000 for vinyl production, $2,000 for touring, and $3,000 in Kickstarter fees and rewards.

Germick hopes the year-long schedule of releases and performances ushered in by the video will increase Planet Booty’s visibility and propel the group to the next industry tier.

“For the first time in our band’s existence we have a year of constant content coming out so maybe someone — a manager, a producer — will hear the album or see the video,” Germick said. “We are trying to promote ourselves to death so we get to whatever that next level is, whether it is understanding what we need to do better, or joining a tour with a band, or getting a manger, or getting a promoter to invest in us.”

To make that happen, Planet Booty was daring and baring for the “Naked” video. There are close-up shots of body parts, zoomed-in pans up legs and across chests, body paint slightly masking buff skin. Then there is the whole shebang — the full body shot.

“To shoot this scene, I am there having nothing on but body paint, just holding myself,” said Germick.

The exposure caused a hiccup in production. The problem shooting a nude body close-up from behind is that “stuff” dangles down in front. Germick’s hold could not cover quite enough for the tight shot, plus he needed to be hands free for another shot. The issue prompted a creative solution. “We took a dress sock, stuffed everything in there and taped the sock around. I held the end of the sock in my mouth so everything was held upward and both hands were free.

“For this video, we are just throwing ourselves out there in the highest way. Though this may be outlandish in scope and in message, I hope people feel what is at the heart of it,” Germick said. “Life is still the same as it ever was but we need now more than ever to feel the happiness that can be inside.”

Germick continued, “I hope this four-minute little video is gonna bust people out of their day and make them say, ‘That was fun.’ It makes me feel like maybe in a small, silly, humble way making someone feel good about who they are, no matter who they are, becomes a little more important…

“Hopefully my slapping my butt cheeks will attain that.”

It is a nice sentiment and proof that life is good on Planet Booty.